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I feel like I'm in a bit of a bind, and I have no idea what I should do in regards to my in-laws.

A bit of a background, my SO, we'll just call J, and I have been together for 2.5 years, but have known each other for 3. Both of us are 23 now, I bartend and he's an RPN (nurse). Both of us work full time between two jobs and just recently, in September, we bought a house together.

Since we started dating, I lived at home with my parents and saved up my money. I had about 28,000$ saved. Around that time, my J's parents' friend said that his ex-wife was moving out of her house. He paid the mortgage and the bills on in lieu of child support, but the ex-wife was ready to move out in July. So when we were told about this in May, we looked into it. It's literally around the corner from J's parents. So, the friend who we'll call L, who was selling the house, said he'd rather do a private sale to cut out the real estate as it can be slow, otherwise it would have to go on the market in July.

At that time, in May, my relationship with J's parents was good enough. The father is an alcoholic, and the mother...she's distant at best, but they always treated me well enough.

Anyway, my parents were a bit iffy on the private sale, but they relented a bit once they saw the house and talked with L and J's parents. I had no student loans and no debts, so, I said I could put at least 22,000$ towards a downpayment on the house. L wanted about 275,000$ for it. J and I decided we wanted to pay 20% down, but on 275,000$, that was a lot of money to put down, and J had to pay his student loans off.

So, J and I told L we would offer 260,000 for the house, and J's parents offered to lend us 30,000$. However, L wasn't sure that 260,000 was enough for the house, so J's parents decided this: on paper and the bank, we're buying the house for 260,000, BUT to make it a good deal for L, they would also give him 15,000 cash. I was really annoyed and upset by that because that was sinking us even more in debt than we needed to be, but L accepted the deal. So the deal on the house went through.

We owe the bank 206,500$ and J's parents about 49,800$.

The next few weeks I noticed a huge change in how his parents treated me. His mom became far more critical of everything I did, usually complaining to J, to which he would then relay to me. Not that his was ENTIRELY new, but the amount that she had to complain about was. For example, I work crazy hours as does J, and one day she came over while I was at work, looked in our fridge, and asked J, "Does she not even cook for you!?" We had JUST moved in maybe a few days at that point? He said, "We just moved in mom, relax. Besides, both of us are still used to only making lunch/dinner for ourselves." (Sidenote: I do make food for him and I, especially if he needs something to take to work for a few days in a row.)

But while we were moving in, my parents wanted to be involved too since every decision at this point was made by J's parents: 1) The house 2) The bank we should use 3) The lawyer that J's mom looked for (she looked at 2) 4) Who would put in the new carpet.

So my mom said that they wanted to help us paint. Normally, you paint before you put in a new flooring, just makes it easier on everyone so that the paint doesn't get everywhere. His parents thought that was the silliest thing they'd ever heard, and went on ahead and set up a date for the carpet to go in before the paint since my parents and their paint guy wouldn't be able to come until a later date, which would mean after the carpet had been put in. So, literally two days before the carpet was going in, my parents and I painted as much as we could. I had to leave for work part way through, so my parents finished one of the bedrooms. I was spending the night at J's parents house, and when I came back from work, his mom was standing at the door angrily looking at me, and said, "What did we do to tick off your parents so much!? I've never seen such a display! All over, what? The carpet?" I was confused, but let her explain. She said my dad had come to drop off the house keys to J after they had painted as much as they could, and that they said they thought it would be easier on everyone if we could just postpone the carpet even by a few days because it made everything so much harder on everyone. J's dad was dead drunk at that point (he's rarely fully sober), and began to yell at my dad, to which, my dad just plopped down the keys and walked away while J's dad kept going off.

My mom said that my dad was tired, hungry and exhausted, and had no time to deal with a drunk. I told that to J, because he called me while he was at work to tell me that his mom had called him. I was just kinda stupified that she'd call her son, who was working at the hospital that night, that something so small and minor had happened.

From there, J's parents would openly criticize anything mine did. "Oh, the paints looks nice, but..." or "Oh, you did good at plastering this, but..."

Nothing they did was good enough. My mom broke down crying, more than once, saying what had she done to have them be like that. They would say other snide or nasty comments here and there, too. About me too, that I messed up the paint colours, but, don't worry, it looks nice! Naturally, my parents were wanting to say something, but I kept telling mine, "Please, please don't. It's ok. That's just how they are. I'm so happy with all that you and dad have done, and I know if we said anything to them it'd just make things way worse." So my parents to this day have still said nothing, and to keep the peace, probably won't.

Come September when we moved in, everything painted and furnished, J's father began to call me names like "stupid" and "idiot" to my face, to J's face, in my own home. I'd left a guy who came to spray the new couches in alone for 2 seconds to ask J something, and the father went at me like a hawk. There were at least five other people just outside the house, and I could see what he was doing inside. I walked back in the house crying after he said those things, waited for the guy to leave, and then left work early. J had, after I left, told his dad off in my defense. (Anytime his parents do, he will stick up for me, just to clarify.)

Later that day, J and I had a long talk about how his parents have treated mine, myself and him, and how I didn't like how his dad spoke to his wife, his two kids (J and his brother), or me, and that J was a better man and a person than his father ever would be or could be.

J broke down crying saying that he even thinks his parents aren't good people. He doesn't remember the last time they said, "I love you", whereas, he said, my parents say it to him every time they see him. They never celebrated his graduations (high school and college), whereas mine took him out for dinner and gave him a gift for graduation as an RPN with honours. His father was also verbally and emotionally abusive to him and his brother when they were kids because of his alcoholic nature. J is terrified of him, and J said that his dad would make our lives a nightmare if we ever complained about them. (That's also why J doesn't drink.) So, he said he would do everything in his power to not be like his father, which he isn't, but that he'd try anyway.

Even to this day, his parents drop by, without telling us, for various reasons, or sometimes no reason at all. When his dad comes by, he's usually yelling, and that causes J to become a bit snappish...I don't like it, and he's done so well to work on it, and he'll apologize right after if he does, but J's father brings out no good in anyone.

I don't know how bad all of this is in comparison to how other people deal with in-laws, but it makes me so sad and hurt because I don't like spending time with them lately, worried what they'll say or do next, especially to J.

For me, I grew up in a loving home, with loving parents and an amazing sister. My extended family is wonderful, and we do what we can to help each other and celebrate our successes together and with J's family...so much of it is the opposite. J even said he doesn't know what his parents think of me. Somehow, I don't think they like me much. I've been trying my hardest to be a good (common-law) wife to J, to take care of our new home, and be a good daughter-in-law.

My family isn't perfect, but I know that how his parents make us feel isn't good either.
 

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Sorry to hear what you are going through. In my experience, having to deal with the "difference in standards" from household environment was and still is one of the toughest things with my wife. Good thing is at least your SO seems level headed enough to objectively see his parents' craziness.

I had the hardest time understanding certain things my wife's parents did. Like you, I feel like I come from what I consider a loving family, but to them they thought our family was too "touchy". For example when my first child was born, my parents came to the hospital almost right after the birth to congratulate us and see the baby and what not, but her parents decided not to come for few days to give us space. To me this was the weirdest thing. My point is that people express their care in different ways so as crazy as they seem, please understand it's their way of "caring" for their sons. Having said that, it's beyond your control on how they "act" toward you, however it certainly is within your power to decide how to handle it. I feel like the important thing is for your SO to firmly communicate your position (not his own, but your collective position). I had trouble getting on the same page with my wife due to me disagreeing with her perspective, but I eventually spoke to my parents. As hurtful it may be, it must be done.

I don't know if you find my comment helpful or not, but hope you can get through this crap and be happy with your SO.
 

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Yikes, control freaks and alcoholics!

What I read from your post is that your in laws are probably highly threatened by what your parents do for you guys and are lashing out. Unfortunately people like that think for the NOW and do not think about future consequences (i.e pushing you both away). Your parents were just trying to support you and it triggered them in some way.

Your mistake (which I know will be a valuable lesson for you) was to involve them in your private business where they may feel they have some entitlement to your lives. You need to pay the money back as a priority and in the mean time build extra strong boundaries. Who on earth goes rummaging through someone's fridge? Incredibly boundariless behaviour. You and your SO need to draw up some ground rules. It may be a good idea for him not to talk about you with his family and when they start complaining he needs to abruptly change the subject.

I could write a book on enforcing boundaries with boundariless people. I'm an expert :smile2:.
 

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this reminds me of what I told a young man at the gym the other day. The girl you marry should have no brothers or sisters. Your marriage will have 50% less issues with which to deal. But if she is an orphan (no parents, brothers or sisters, your marriage will have 80% less issues. The perfect arrangements would be for both to be orphans.

(Just got back from visiting the in-laws, so my above comments my not be totally objective)

You'll save a ton of money on Christmas and birthday gifts, and can choose the people you want to be around; rather than spending a Thanksgiving with an arrogant/know it all sister in law, a loud mouth brother in law, a "told you so" mother in law and four undisciplined and destructive nephews

But do have grand kids!
 

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You made a massive mistake by moving so near to them and letting them have such control over your life. My advise, sell that house and move right away. I know several people who have had to move away from toxic parents. My husband ended up the other side of the world from his mother.
Buy a smaller place so that you can pay the money back, and limit any contact after that to an occasional phone call.

It will do you both good to be more independent from your families.
 

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You made a massive mistake by moving so near to them and letting them have such control over your life. My advise, sell that house and move right away. I know several people who have had to move away from toxic parents. My husband ended up the other side of the world from his mother.
Buy a smaller place so that you can pay the money back, and limit any contact after that to an occasional phone call.

It will do you both good to be more independent from your families.
:iagree: 100%. I moved across the road from in laws when I first got married. When I realised they were toxic I sold the house and moved. It was totally worth it. Couldn't shift fast enough. :|
 

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We live a cross the street from My MIL, IN 24 YEARS we have learned to set our boundaries. She used to just show up and open the door. She had keys for emergencies and I had to take them back. I don't need anyone telling me when to do laundry or mop the floor.

The day my SIL moved, was the happiest day for me. She drove me nuts. I was scared to go outside because I did not want to see her.

The reason his parents are treating you like that is because they lent you money. Money changes things and people. You owe them, so they have power over you.

My advice is to change the locks. Sell the house and repay them. Buy or rent a smaller house until you can both contribute towards the downpayment.
 

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My mother always told me not to take money from people - they will feel like they own you. Your mother in law is looking at you and seeing the $49000 you owe her. She puts the weight of that on everything you do - therefore, nothing you do is worth $49000. I feel for you. Try to keep above the fray. Good luck.
 

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A couple of things. One, J has a LOT of problems from growing up with an alcoholic and absent mother. When things are good, they're great - but he has no network to learn how to deal with bad things. Least of all standing up for you. So you're going to have to address this. Hopefully he will go to therapy to learn how to defend people against his parents; it won't be easy. But I promise you, if he doesn't do this, your marriage will be on the rocks within a few years. He may WANT to protect you, but he has 23 years of being a whipping boy to work against.

Two, YOU need to learn about boundaries and consequences. Making you cry? How about telling him to get the hell out of your house? Read up everything you can about boundaries/consequences. You're going to have to be the strong one, since J won't be able to, not until he's had a few years of therapy. That means telling them 'I won't allow you to criticize my parents' (or whatever the current issue is), and then ENACTING A CONSEQUENCE that effectively removes you or your parents or J or your future kids from their presence if they continue to hurt you. They can't hurt you if you're not participating.
 

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Who on earth goes rummaging through someone's fridge? Incredibly boundariless behaviour.
My MIL! Lol! She moved all SIL's furniture around in her loungeroom while she was away once. I told my husband if that had ever happened here every piece would be back how we left it, even if we were up til 3am doing it.

You need boundaries OP - how dare they treat you like that? Especially in your own home. They can GTFO.

My inlaws are what brought me to TAM...my username = Frustrated Daughter In Law lol :rofl:
 

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I was fortunate that my mil in my second marriage lived the other side of the world. A year after we married we went over to see his family.It was my suggestion. The fact that he wasn't keen to go and hadn't been back for many many years should have told me something.

She was fine to my face but spent the whole time we were there behind my back trying to get him to leave me, saying I wasn't good enough, that my children and I would 'hold him back', saying anything to turn him against me. She was toxic and had also tried to break up her other sons marriage and my husbands first marriage for many years. Basically she wanted them for herself and no one was good enough for her precious boys.

Needless to say, it caused all sort of problems and upsets, it was a horrible time, and when we left she offered to pay for him to go over again the following year(not me of course). Needless to say we couldn't get on that plane fast enough, and there was no way he was going again to be poisoned by her. We were like lambs to the slaughter.

There are some types of parents who you just need to stay RIGHT away from. They will ruin you lives IF you let them. Don't let them, move away. Its sometimes the only thing you can do.
 

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this reminds me of what I told a young man at the gym the other day. The girl you marry should have no brothers or sisters. Your marriage will have 50% less issues with which to deal. But if she is an orphan (no parents, brothers or sisters, your marriage will have 80% less issues. The perfect arrangements would be for both to be orphans.

(Just got back from visiting the in-laws, so my above comments my not be totally objective)

You'll save a ton of money on Christmas and birthday gifts, and can choose the people you want to be around; rather than spending a Thanksgiving with an arrogant/know it all sister in law, a loud mouth brother in law, a "told you so" mother in law and four undisciplined and destructive nephews

But do have grand kids!
The bolded part is absolutely spot on. I have a brother and he's great, and my wife has a brother who I get along with just fine, but her sister causes enough problems for ten families. Our life would be a lot easier without the constant drama from her sister - my brother, who gets along with everyone, can't stand my wife's sister and isn't coming to our house for Thanksgiving because he doesn't want to see her (and I don't blame him).
 

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I’m a bit shocked that your inlaws made decisions and dealt with your house arrangements. Lending money doesn’t give them power over decisions although it can make them feel entitled to. It seems like a big mistake to have depended on them for money and even got a house so near them.

Your husband will have to deal with them and put the boundaries. A great rule is that ina couple each deal with their parents. Because usually dealing with inlaws can strain the relationships. When each deal with their own parents it makes it easier.

It is also wise to not depend on them on anything from now on. Not even to help on the house on small things.
 
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